When Is Sexual Harassment Training Required?
For a healthy work environment, it is better for an organization to know when is sexual harassment training required. All unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal abuses come under sexual harassment.
Anyone can experience sexual harassment, irrespective of their gender. It can be intimidating, humiliating, and offensive. This is why sexual harassment training is required in such places.
What does Sexual Harassment include?
The following offenses come under sexual harassment:
- Grabbing, touching, or making physical contact with someone without their consent.
- Making comments to anyone with a sexual meaning.
- Asking someone for sex or sexual favors.
- Leering or staring at others.
- Displaying offensive or rude material so that others can see it.
- Making suggestive body movements or sexual gestures towards someone.
- Cracking sexual jokes or comments around someone.
- Questioning others about their sex life.
- Insulting someone with sexual comments.
- Behavior over a phone call that makes someone uncomfortable.
- Indecent exposure in front of someone else.
- Sexually assaulting a person.
How can Sexual Harassment impact Someone?
A person who is sexually harassed may
- Feel anxious, depressed, or stressed,
- Withdraw from all kinds of social situations,
- Lose self-esteem and confidence,
- Have physical symptoms related to stress, like headaches or sleeping problems,
- Be unable to concentrate or be productive.
Sexual Harassment Training
Sexual harassment training educates people about the kind of conduct that constitutes such kind of behavior. It further teaches them how and when to file a complaint, encourages them to report questionable behavior that makes them uncomfortable. Sexual harassment training also sensitizes the higher-level people on matters pertaining to the said behavior and educates them on how to process the complaints. It further trains the bystanders on how to intervene if they witness any sexual harassment nearby them. All these elements come together to create a world that has zero tolerance for offensive crimes like sexual harassment.
When is Sexual Harassment Training required?
Sexual harassment training does not require any specific time to be conducted. Most organizations around the world have their own regulations regarding the time when they organize awareness programs or training related to such offenses. In some places, sexual harassment training may take place every month, while in others, they are conducted every six months.
However, one should maintain a general time frame for conducting such training. There should always be an initial harassment prevention training session in the organization. After that, people at the top level can conduct refresher courses annually. As a part of the same process, the people who participate in the session can sign acknowledgment forms that can be maintained in their personal files attesting to the completion of the training program. Because the implications of harassment may vary depending on the organization or the level of a student or an employee, designing specifically tailored programs for everyone is advisable.
Training requirements vary from place to place. For instance, anti-harassment training in California must be done bi-annually. The training is usually tracked by an anniversary date or by the training year. On the other hand, employers in New York should be provided sexual harassment training on an annual basis. It is a must for them to complete the annual training. There, employers should provide training to employees as soon as they are hired.
Here, as we can see, different places have different frequency requirements when it comes to conducting sexual harassment training at a school, university, or workplace.
Why is Sexual Harassment Training required?
Sexual harassment training is one of the most important requirements for preventing harassment and other inappropriate conduct at a school, college, university, or workplace. Here are the important reasons why one should conduct sexual harassment training:
- It reduces financial and legal liability
Numerous acts have come up in today’s world that places a duty on people to organize awareness programs and workshops at regular intervals. That is done to sensitize everyone with the provisions of the said acts. Some of these exercises have become legal mandates and failing to undertake the same may result in fines or even punishments. It may lead to certain organizations getting their licenses and registrations revoked. That is why it is important to conduct regular sexual harassment training.
- Ensures everyone is safe and productive
Being subject to or a witness to sexual harassment can be a harrowing experience for anyone – be it a college student or a corporate employee. The more encounters they face, the more depressed or anxious they become. Sometimes, it is accompanied by the general impairment of a person’s psychological well-being. It gives us a fair idea of how sexual harassment can impact someone’s productivity. Conducting sexual harassment training can make a place safer, assuages the discomfort or fear among people, and increases their productivity.
- Information on one’s legal rights
While a larger part of sexual harassment training focuses on the prevention and redressal of such behavior against people, such effective training also educates everyone about their legal rights if they or someone around them is accused of similar offenses. The training further aims to educate people on the best redressal practices.
- Communicates zero-tolerance of sexual harassment
It is difficult to say that a particular place has zero-tolerance without the presence of sexual harassment training. Undertaking periodic and rigorous training of such sort sends out a strong message from the top of any organization that it is taking a strong stand against the crime of sexual harassment.
- Makes all places safe
People are always required to visit a diverse set of venues and locations every day. Some of these places may remain unsafe for them. In some cases, instances of sexual harassment may also go unreported. That is when training of this sort can ensure that the place a person is traveling to is safer.
Benefit of Sexual Harassment Training
The primary objective of the owner of a place is to keep it safe and comfortable for the people coming there without any interpersonal conflict. Achieving that objective necessitates providing sexual harassment training.
- The most important benefit of sexual harassment training is presenting people with all levels of basic information about what constitutes harassment at a workplace, university, college, or any other organization.
- It also includes a description of the consequences of such offensive activities as well as steps to prevent such impermissible conduct.
- Moreover, people also get access to informative resources during the training session. That helps them fight such offenses better.
There is usually a misconception among people that sexual harassment training is expensive. Any business can present effective and appropriate training of such sort at a cheaper cost. Moreover, even if there is a cost of training, it represents a reasonable investment that is for the benefit of those who are attending it. The benefits of recurring sexual harassment prevention include creating a safe and friendly environment.
Moreover, from the management’s perspective, that reduces the chance of any legal action against the said business based on a harassment complaint. One thing that everyone should keep in mind is that sexual harassment is one of the most serious offenses. So, training people on how to avoid such heinous crimes is a must in any organization.